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I successfully spoke at Oromo Studies Association Annual Conference at Howard University in Washington DC. I was there in an invitation from the OSA to speak about Oromo art. My presentation was entitled Oromo Art: The Next Frontier. “For centuries, Oromo’s created art that lasted generations. Their work is a trace of proud people with rich identity and history that goes deep down for ages. Whether it is a cultural sword that passed down from one generation to another or a beautiful jewelery Oromo womens wear as a symbol of their ancestors, it contained a DNA of long and wide history of Oromo life and existence. The rich tapestry of this art, was neglected or overlooked for centuries until now. My presentation will try to show the past and analyze the present in hopes to open door for the next frontier.”

I am very grateful for the OSA board members to invite me to this historic meeting, especially President Jawar Mohammed, Ayantu Ayana and Demitu Argo. I also like to thank my family and friends for their hospitality and care.

In addition to presenting, I got a chance to meet a human rights activist Mr Bekele Gerba, who was a prisoner of conscious in Ethiopia for four years and just released from prison in his first US visit. I got the honor of painting him in a spot and presenting it to him. I think his smile says he liked it. My hope is to highlight the lack of human rights and respect to voice in Ethiopia through this amazing leader. A true foundation of a democratic country can not be realized with out the rule of law and respect to human rights. That is true regardless of any hollow praise from a foreign leader or powerful global financial organizations. It is time for us to face the music and acknowledge without a proper shot and respect to human rights, we are building the wall of babylon, which crumbles in time and leave our poor people carrying the burden. We went through this a lot, we don’t need to look at a crystal ball to forecast what ahead. Let’s stop the blame game, too many people are suffering from our inaction.

Look for an exclusive interview for OMN Amharic program with the amazing Abdi Fite!

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Let’s all work to promote Peace, Love and Equality! Geletooma! God Bless!

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